Timeframe for EXE exporter?

  • I think an official .exe wrapper using Awesomium would be moderately easy. Combined with something like UPX you could support a single exe binary for Linux, Windows, and Mac exports right off the bat.. Plus it is based on Chrome so would have good performance, sound compatibility, etc.

    I've been wanted to make a wrapper generator which takes a C2 folder and generates a .exe but just too busy!! :-(

    This has been on my mind constantly for the last few days.

    I've been thinking about what is really important when it comes to the delivery method of the game. And, in the end Ashley's assurance that all the current annoyances and limitations of browsers would eventually be fixed just didn't reassure me. I think maybe the thing that really bothers me is that browsers do other things... many things at once - and almost all of these things conflict with the purpose of playing the game.

    It's like the difference between watching a movie on TV, and watching it in the cinema. Control over the environment is an important part of the presentation of any media, and when movies are sliced up by advertising and cropped to fit a small screen... you're essentially fighting for the attention of the viewer, and often losing.

    While all of the annoyances that I previously mentioned are part of this, the biggest is essentially that a browser is the TV, an EXE is the cinema, and an HTML5 EXE wrapper is a DVD/BluRay... so to speak.

    They can all present the media to the viewer, and they all have different advantages/disadvantages... it would be a sad day if the film industry were to decide, since the future is in digital media, to stop screening films in cinemas.

    I would build an Awesomium wrapper myself if I wasn't such a dunce when it comes to setting up Visual Studio (it's almost like they designed it to be a pain in the arse) and had more spare time to learn the basics. Surely, building an application that does nothing but load a single web page (ie, your index.html) would be fairly easy (any takers?).

    It would be a start, at least until an official exporter is (or isn't) added.

  • I didn't realize that about the local HTTP server requirement. That complicates things a bit. Unfortunately, the problem isn't quite as simple as loading an index.html file. Need to build in an exe compressor (like UPX), the local HTTP server, and ideally allow for export to different OS's. Other problem with a wrapper is you now rely on another Chromium code base...if the Awesomium guys fall behind and don't fix bugs/update source tree, now the wrapper becomes unstable and everybody complains to the devs. So I can understand the hesitance to official support a wrapper at this point.

    After looking at the SDK, I think there would have to be three separate wrappers built (independent of the IDE). Need to make one each for Linux, Windows, and Mac. So that entails three different types of compressors/web servers. I don't have a Mac so if I try this out it would have to be just Linux and Windows.

    Still, I don't think there should be much of a rush asking for wrapper as we are all kinda in test mode anyway...MAYBE this weekend I'll throw together a Windows wrapper and see how it looks. :-)

  • Interesting thread. After reading it through, i must concur on having the EXE or APP wrapper. HTML 5 is great and all for developing playable game on any platform, granted if the browser supports it. But not entirely sure how this would benefit game developers who would want to market and distribute their games if was only in the HTML 5 format. On the Chrome App store? Or an HTML 5 game portal like Ninja Kiwi?

    Plus, the only advantage of an EXE wrapper that I can tell is that you can submit to steam, as SullyTheStrange pointed out. I am not aware of any advantages, only the disadvantages of discouraging security warnings to download and play the game, and unnecessarily tieing your game to Windows. Please tell me if there are other advantages I'm not aware of! Because right now it seems the disadvantages outweigh the small advantage (I doubt many people will be publishing to steam in these early days).

    Well, not necessarily publishing just to Steam, but how about other game potential areas such as Gamehouse, Big Fish Games, Mac App Store...etc? Or perhaps even publishing and selling your own games? This wouldn't be an issue if CC and C2 were actually interchangeable, them we'd have the best of both worlds already.

    There are other dev tools out there that can do this already. The HTML5 version of GameMaker not only creates HTML 5, also an Windows executable version of your game. And the Monkey coding language can spit out HTML5, Flash, Windows, Mac, IOS, Android, and apparently XNA. And of course, there's Gamesalad. But IMHO *none of these* are preferable to C2's ease of use and rapid development.

    Anyways, i'm still excited to see where C2 will be in the future :).

  • I do understand that they wanna concentrate on the HTML 5 features first, and it's fine. But completely ruling out the EXE exporter is a bad idea.

    If people are scared of EXEs downloaded from the net, then they shouldn't be near a computer. Sooner or later, one way or another, you will end up with a virus. EXEs aren't the only way to infect a computer. It's quite simple, Don't play EXEs if you are scared of them. I do not plan on releasing games for the audience that scare away from EXEs. EXEs have been around for decades, if you dunno what you are doing with a computer, then sure, stick to web games, no big deal.

  • A question to this post here. So, for (the less technical) people to play offline, and not know how to go into the folder to access index.html, just give them the files and a shortcut and call it a day?

  • We don't have a plan extending as far as a year, so I just can't say.

    However, if WebGL becomes widely supported and the Web Apps standard keeps progressing, I'm wondering if we'll need an EXE exporter at all. If C2 games are running with a hardware accelerated WebGL view complete with shaders, using javascript engines that are compiled to machine code and using the new Web Audio API for reliable audio with effects... what need is there for an EXE exporter?

    Most likely we will not need an exe exporter. I would bet that everything will be web apps. Correct me if I a wrong but isn't windows 8 mostly going to be web apps. In addition there is the chrome store for google devices

  • I do understand that they wanna concentrate on the HTML 5 features first, and it's fine. But completely ruling out the EXE exporter is a bad idea.

    If people are scared of EXEs downloaded from the net, then they shouldn't be near a computer. Sooner or later, one way or another, you will end up with a virus. EXEs aren't the only way to infect a computer. It's quite simple, Don't play EXEs if you are scared of them. I do not plan on releasing games for the audience that scare away from EXEs. EXEs have been around for decades, if you dunno what you are doing with a computer, then sure, stick to web games, no big deal.

    This is a very good post and I would like to point that out.

    Ha ha, any game I make, would not be marketed towards an audience that's afraid of EXEs (eg, people like my sister who resort to macs because they know absolutely nothing about computers)! Definitely not the folks I'm interested in making games for!

    The first part is important: I'm all for Scirra going the HTML5 route if that's where they see the money; I'm all for them succeeding, and HTML5 is going to be a big market. At the same time, EXEs shouldn't just be swept under the rug, perceived as clunky or bothersome (especially for what I see is a kinda silly reason of "frightening security warnings")- EXE has its uses and advantages, of which I prefer over HTML5 (like this constant jerky motion I always get playing HTML5 games on browsers- I like smooth movement :D ).

    As I said, Ash and Scirra are perfectly justified in focusing development on the growing potentiality of HTML5. But that don't mean EXEs or EXE exporters are chopped liver.

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  • Most likely we will not need an exe exporter. I would bet that everything will be web apps. Correct me if I a wrong but isn't windows 8 mostly going to be web apps.

    Strange that Microsoft care so much about HTML5 for their Windows 8 but aren't using WebGL.

    Also, I'm guessing that if someone ends up making a proper exporter for computers they'll probably allow it to export both .exes and .apps (for Mac).

  • Just for the rhetorical practise, I want to point out that Construct2 is itself released as an exe. If webapps are so great, why isn't C2 a web app?

    (Now, if Ashley pops in and announces that they're porting the C2 application to HTML5, I'll eat my hat.)

  • Just for the rhetorical practise, I want to point out that Construct2 is itself released as an exe. If webapps are so great, why isn't C2 a web app?

    (Now, if Ashley pops in and announces that they're porting the C2 application to HTML5, I'll eat my hat.)

    You know, they can do some amazing things with Fruit Roll-Ups.

    Might want to investigate, just in case.

  • It's sort of disappointing reading some of the forum and blog recently because i get the impression the developers are not really interested in making EXE exporter. Thinking there would be one was one of the main reasons i purchased however.

    "I'm wondering if we'll need an EXE exporter at all", "what need is there for an EXE exporter?", "I'd prefer to recycle the HTML5 engine."

    So it seems like if there is one (doesn't sound likely) it will just be a wrapper which is not so good really.

    In my opinion HTMl5 is great but flash is also and still more powerful and and also contained rather than being multiple technology's linking to resources. Reading the blog there is a clear dislike for flash though so i guess that means flash/flex is never going to be a official runtime for it.

    Also one of the earlier blog posts was saying how there is a focus on helping coders make plugins and runtimes. Though i wonder how long it would be before the SDK for runtimes is released, the last update was actually that a option to switch runtime got hidden because you can't do it. That makes sense i guess but at the same time it's worrying because i see no news for the 3rd party runtimes feature.

    A while back i was coding plugins and requested some features which i think would help other coders also but just one of those was added. That feature was apparently because it was needed for a official plugin though.

    So yeah i am sort of disappointed about some things and don't really feel the helping of plugin coders just yet either, but hopefully that is just down to the fact there is probably a lot of work to do and these will be added later on.

  • FireLight: have you taken a look at the manual recently ?

    The full SDK is described there. There are also more and more 3rd party dev, as well as plugins and behaviors released in the plugins section.

    If you don't go to the developpers, it is unlikely indeed they'll come to you if you just stand in your corner.

    As far as suggestion goes, not all suggestion are good, and there must also be a choice made in the priority of features to add to C2. It's not because a feature isn't implemented TODAY, that it will never be.

    Also, it was clear from the beginning that C2 was aimed at HTML5 "against" flash and that an exe exporter was a possibility, not something set in stone.

    Once again, only time will tell wether there is or not finaly an exporter.

    Anyway, as long as the HTML5's one is not finished, don't expect it.

    EDIT: Reading again your suggestions, some are trickier to implement than you think I'd say, and would require some massive reorganizing before being added.

    For now Ash as already a lot of work on his hands, it's unlikely he could handle so much stuff at once. Give him time.

  • FireLight: I share yer disappointment. But sadly the only thing you can do is wait. Cos we simply aren't gonna be heard about this.

  • Just for the rhetorical practise, I want to point out that Construct2 is itself released as an exe. If webapps are so great, why isn't C2 a web app?

    Well to be fair, Apple requires a mac to develop for iOS, and that certainly hasn't hurt the outcome there. The developer gets to jump through hoops behind the scenes, so that the player just jumps through them in the game <img src="smileys/smiley17.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • Most likely we will not need an exe exporter. I would bet that everything will be web apps. Correct me if I a wrong but isn't windows 8 mostly going to be web apps. In addition there is the chrome store for google devices

    So, what you are saying is that the future of gaming and computing in general will be governed by these elements:

    1)If you do not have internet, screw you, you cannot use any apps. cos now the world became trendy and not having internet and/or using EXEs, it's, like, so last century. Wait... isn't yer web browser a goddamn EXE?

    2)The computing world will be governed by computer illiterate people who couldn't install a program for their lives.

    3)This is a great future, in which I hope I will be burned to death.

    __________________________________________________________

    On a different note:

    Note: broswers may have very strict limitations on pages viewed from disk. This means exported projects generally don't work when run from disk. Upload your project to a server, or just preview from inside C2, to check it works.

    This is what pops up when I try to run a project from disk. Meaning that if I do not have internet, HTML5 games are useless or half baked cakes. I guess this isn't an advantage to be able to export to natives.

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